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Pocket money for Parkinson's

Martin Tims writes:


One of my earliest memories of Parkinson's was struggling to get money out of my pocket to pay for something in a shop. I found it easier to give a larger single denomination - a note, £1 coin, or a 50p - than to try and struggle sorting through small value coins, with a queue building behind me.

Does that sound familiar?

Do you end up with pockets or purses full of loose change?

I have done so for 15 years now since I was first diagnosed, and therefore each night I have emptied my pockets of loose change, and the 10p and 20p coins ended up in Parkinson's UK collection boxes. It has amazed me how quickly it mounts up, and yet how little I notice it in my overall cash flow. So far, over a number of years, I have accumulated about £100 for Parkinson's, with another £40 given to Carys at the AGM. Whilst I recognise that not everybody will choose to put in this sort of level of funding, our scheme is accessible to all.

Our USP is that the scheme should make it easier and quicker for PwPs when doing shopping, and raise funds at the same time. We have KISSed it, i.e. kept it as simple as possible. We have discussed the pros and cons of including lower denominations of coins, or indeed 50p or £1 coins. For the higher value coins we feel that many PwPs would not choose to participate as it would take out too much cash flow. For the smaller coins we suspect that the time and effort to separate out the individual value coins, bag them and bank them would not repay the effort and we are therefore looking at using the change machines in ASDA and other supermarkets. They will accept mixed coins but on the other hand they take up to 10%.

So to summarise, you will be collecting 10p and 20p coins into Parkinson's UK collection boxes, and when a box gets full please get some reusable coin bags, fill them as required, and pass them to the Treasurer, Carys.


A 20p coin weighs 5g, and a £10 bag will weigh approximately 250g. The 10p coin weighs 6.5g, and therefore a £5 bag will weigh 325g.